Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Several things I want to go over today, but first hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Fourth of July! As you can tell from the pictures below, we love the Fourth of July and I love to decorate for it!

Lots of Red, White, and Blue on my house...

Lots of Red, White, and Blue on my daughter...

And on Oscar...

Who wasn't to happy about it, but he sure looked cute!

Secondly, William and the kids went to town yesterday and while he was there I asked him to look around Wally-World and see if he could find me a new patriotic t-shirt to wear to the Rankin Volunteer Fire Department Street Dance. He called and said there wasn't much left but he did find me something. Below is a picture of the T-shirt. It seemed to be a nice shirt and I was going to try it on when a couple of somethings caught my eye...

Can you see what bugs me about this shirt? I know it's a little blurry but hopefully you can still make out what's on the label in the picture below. Considering what is on the front of the shirt I wasn't expecting to see on the label "MADE IN PAKISTAN" and it's not just in English but in Spanish.

Is this what it's come down to? Our own Patriotic clothing is being made in a country that is not entirely friendly to the United States. I mean, let's see if I remember correctly, isn't the Taliban still fighting some of our U.S. soldiers in that area? With the news media mostly focusing on the war in Afghanistan now and the withdrawal of American troups out of certain Iraqi cities, I don't remember everything involving Pakistan, but isn't their President not that cozy with the U.S.? Aren't our soldiers trying to fight the Taliban that are on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border and the terrorists/insurgents have been using the Pakistani border towns as bases?

Well, I don't know what you would do, but I'm not wearing my new shirt today. I'll just find a shirt from a couple years ago that proudly says "Made in America" and only in English. Sorry, but I don't believe that phrase should have to be in English and Spanish. If you are buying a Fourth of July t-shirt to wear, then I would assume that you have learned the predominant language of the new country of your new residence. I mean, if I went to Mexico and wanted to pick up say a Cinco de Mayo shirt, I wouldn't expect it to have care instructions on it in English.

Ok, enough of my little ranting today, just wanted to toot the "I'm American" horn for a moment on the day we set aside to celebrate the good ol' U.S. of A. and it's also the day that my family celebrates the day that Nathan came home from the hospital when he was a newborn. Yea! We'll celebrate with some cake and ice cream later today, then we'll go to the street dance, have some burgers and hot dogs, then we get to head over to the football stadium parking lot and shoot off our load of fireworks and firecrackers! Imagine the best fireworks show you've ever seen and extend it for several hours instead of just 15 minutes. It's AWESOME!

So, like I said earlier, everyone have fun, be safe, and enjoy your Fourth of July!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Time to clear something up...

I've lived out here going on 5 (!!) years now and there is a person out here who, almost every time I see them, asks "Are you going to church this Sunday?"

I know that this person doesn't read my blog, but even if they did, that's alright because I think it would help reassure this person that I'm not some non-believer. Quite the contrary, I consider myself a veryFaithful person, but I don't consider myself a Religious person.

What's the difference? Well, let me explain when I decided I couldn't be a Religious person anymore. When I was younger, say mid-teens I went to church on a regular basis and some older friends of mine had decided to become Missionaries and believe it or not I was even thinking about that too. I couldn't think of anything better then spreading the word of a loving and caring Heavenly Father through the word of his Son, Jesus Christ. And then our Preacher of many years retired and our church hired a new Preacher.

I went to his first Sunday sermon and left knowing I would never return. Our last Preacher spoke of God's love, of Jesus' kindness and acceptance of all people. Our new Preacher spoke about how anyone not of our faith was going to you-know-where and that they were all terrible sinners and we needed to do everything in our power to convert them.

At the time I had many close friends of many different faiths and they were all very Religious people. I couldn't believe that the loving God that I had been taught about throughout my life would condemn someone to you-know-where just because they had found a different path to believing in Him. So, that was when I decided I would be a Faithful Believer since I didn't feel comfortable being a Religious Believer.

I don't believe in having my children taught that people of other faiths are evil and wrong. I mean just because the Dalai Lhama isn't of my Religion, he's not going to Heaven? Or how about the Pope, he's Christian but not Baptist, so that means he's gonna be turned away from the Pearly Gates? I don't believe so.

I just decided that if Heaven was going to exclude all my friends and family who didn't practice my Religion then it just wouldn't be Heaven and the kind and loving God that I believed in wouldn't allow that type of Heaven to exist.

So, I consider myself a Faithful person, just not a Religious one. How do I practice my faith you may ask? Well, everyday I give thanks to the Heavens above that I have two healthy children and a healthy husband. I give Thanks when we all return home safe and sound, because I know that there are people who have someone they love who isn't coming home that night.

I send up a prayer of thanks when I have to mow my lawn because I know there are many who are physically unable to do so or don't have a home of their own anymore. I'm thankful for having a good job and great co-workers, because I know there are many who don't have jobs during this tough economy.

I say a prayer over the checks I send for donations to the various Vetrans organizations and when I put change in the Salvation Army buckets at Christmas and for the money I put in the Fill-the-Boot campaign and of course when I fill out a card showing I donated money around Labor Day for the MDA Telethon.

Everytime I donate I say a prayer that the money I give will bring a wounded Veteran a little closer to getting the prosthetic limb he or she needs since they were severly wounded by a roadside bomb or that one more person without a home will find help at the local Salvation Army shelter or that a scientist will be brought one step closer to a cure for MD or MS.

Just because I don't go to a church every Sunday, put my money into the plate they pass around, sing hymns and listen to a sermon that may or may not reflect my true beliefs, doesn't mean I'm not a Faithful Believer, it just means I don't believe I have to go to Sunday Service every Sunday to practice my beliefs, I try to practice it every day. And I try to show my children every day by my example.

So, far I've been very happy with how they have turned out. My son has friends of many faiths, including the son of the Hindi manager of the motel and my daughter plays with children of every race and religion equally. Just like in the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children", red and yellow, black and white, she plays with everyone. Now if I could get them to clean their rooms and help ME around the house more, I'd be doing real well. Guess that's just one more thing for me to pray about I guess, while I mow my lawn on Sunday morning, watching cars pass by full of people on their way to Church.

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